Student to Onsite Ambassador in Barcelona
Traveling opens the mind to new experiences and opportunities, especially when working abroad. Last summer was my very first time ever being in Europe, therefore there were many adjustments and challenges to endure. Being an intern in a foreign country, I had to adjust to a new working environment, speak a new language, and get accustomed to a new lifestyle and co-workers. During this time, my expectations were not met, and I had to face reality and work to adjust to my new environment.
I learned that Spanish workers do not give as much detailed instructions as U.S. workers, therefore there were times in my internship placement I did not know how to be proactive and contribute to the company. From this experience, I learned to take initiative on tasks and to be open-minded to different cultures and how they accomplish things. I grew to be more patient with others and understand why they do things a certain way.
I am extremely happy I did an internship abroad. This experience has given me the upper-hand in the job market. I am able to say to potential employers I have a great sense of adaptability and the patience to work with different types of people. Moreover, I was so inspired and determined after my internship, I wanted to stay connected with my experience somehow and applied to be an Alumni Ambassador. Through this position, I was able to help prospective students realize their potential and explore the great possibilities of internships and study abroad. After a semester as an Ambassador, I knew there was more I wanted to contribute and applied for a Senior Alumni Ambassador position. I gained more leadership skills and confidence as I helped other ambassadors spread the word about study abroad.
It has been 2 weeks since I returned to my beloved Barcelona, and I have hit the ground running. I have a new, fresh, positive outlook on things, and I know exactly what I want to accomplish as an onsite Ambassador. The whole CEA Barcelona staff have been so welcoming and supportive that I feel confident taking initiative on tasks and helping my fellow co-workers. I know this time around I will not take anything for granted and make sure I leave an impact on my co-workers and students.
What I expect this time around in Barcelona is to grow even more as a person and face new challenges I’m prepared for. Being an Onsite Ambassador, I carry different responsibilities and tasks that I look forward to succeeding in. I have laid out a lot of professional goals for my time here, such as networking, stepping out of my comfort zone, and meeting more locals.
I will leave you all with this: if you have the opportunity to travel, please take it, because traveling helps you gain a positive perspective of yourself and others! More on my ambassador experience to come later!
Karime Diaz is a CEA Onsite Ambassador in Barcelona, Spain. She currently studies Communications at Kean University and interned abroad in Barcelona, Spain with CEA in Summer 2017. If you’d like to learn more about the ambassador program, here is more information.